Thursday, March 31, 2011

Day 23: Our Immanuel - Isaiah 53

He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.

About seven hundred years before Jesus was born, the prophet Isaiah wrote a description of how Jesus’ life would be here on earth. Isaiah foretold that Jesus would be rejected by His own people, that the very ones He came to save would turn their backs on Him.

Often we complain that we face suffering unjustly even though we are faithful and godly but let us remember that Jesus also faced it. Too often we are willing to suffer for our own benefit but let us learn to suffer for the benefit of others. Who is this Jesus? He is despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Almighty and most merciful God, in this earthly life we endure sufferings and death before we enter into eternal glory. Grant us grace at all times to subject ourselves to Your holy will and to continue steadfast in the true faith to the end of our lives that we may know the peace and joy of the blessed hope of the resurrection of the dead and of the gory of the world to come, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Schnorr von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS used by permission for private and congregational use
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved
Collect in times of affliction and distress – Lutheran Service Book © 2008 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

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